49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 24, 2012
Lockette (the rocket) to replace Palmer on 49ers p-squad


San Francisco General Manager Trent Baalke was mum Monday about the player the 49ers were eying to fill Nathan Palmer's spot on the practice squad. Ricardo Lockette may have let the cat of the bag: "I am the newest member of the 49ers," he Tweeted Monday afternoon.

The 49ers typically won't confirm a player has been acquired until the player passes a physical and signs his physical.

Lockette, 26, is a former track star who played football at Fort Valley State and who was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks in 2011. He spent the first 13 games that season on Seattle's practice squad but was activated on Dec. 22 and had a 44-yard reception against the 49ers the following game. He also had a 61-yard touchdown catch the next week against the Cardinals, the longest reception of the year for the Seahawks. Lockette was among the Seahawks' final cuts this year.

Lockette (6-2, 211 pounds) won a Division II national championship in the 200 meters at Fort Valley State in 2008. During the 2011 scouting combine, he and Abilene Christian's Edmond Gates had the fastest 40-yard dash times at 4.37 seconds.

Soon after the 49ers arrived in Ohio Sunday night, Palmer was headed to Indiana. The Colts on Monday claimed Palmer, an undrafted receiver out of Northern Illinois, off the 49ers practice squad and placed him on their 53-man roster.

Palmer's main role as a practice-squad player had been to give the first-string defense a sense of the opposition's receivers that week. The Colts will ask Palmer, who is from Indiana, to fulfill a more immediate role after receiver Austin Collie went down with a knee injury Sunday.

Two of the undrafted receivers the 49ers brought to training camp, Palmer and Chris Owusu, are on the 53-man rosters of the Colts and Buccaneers respectively. Another, Brian Tyms, is on the Dolphins practice squad.

Harbaugh said he wasn't surprised they were in demand: "Going back to the very first press conference we had of the year, after the very first rookie minicamp, I noticed on that day, that we had probably the finest group of young wide receivers I'd ever seen at a training camp, or in a rookie camp," he said. "So, no, it doesn't surprise me."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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